The individuals involved in the Niagara Falls crash have been identified as a married couple from western New York


Peter Power / AFP - Getty Images

  The two individuals who lost their lives in a tragic explosion at the U.S.-Canada border on Wednesday have been identified as Monica and Kurt P Villani, a married couple from Grand Island, New York, according to Niagara Falls police.

Both aged 53, the Villanis met with the accident on Wednesday morning while driving across Rainbow Bridge, the entry and exit point between Canada and Niagara Falls. Eyewitnesses reported that the car became airborne after colliding with a cement median, subsequently catching fire and exploding upon impact with a border crossing booth.

Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John Faso expressed condolences on behalf of the City of Niagara Falls, acknowledging the sorrow faced by the families in a news release.

The couple's identities were disclosed on Friday morning after their family members were informed. However, no further information about the couple was made available.

Despite requests for comment on Friday, the relatives of the couple did not respond.

Situated less than 10 miles from Rainbow Bridge, Grand Island, where the couple resided, is an island town in Erie County, New York, approximately 12 miles north of Buffalo.

In a Thursday afternoon news briefing, Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino revealed that investigators believed the couple was en route to a KISS concert on Wednesday night. The concert was eventually canceled because frontman Paul Stanley was sick with the flu, according to a post by the guitarist on X.

A representative from Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino on the U.S. side of the border mentioned that the couple made a brief stop at the casino shortly before the crash occurred.

While the crash is still under investigation, the authorities have confirmed that there were no explosives involved, and there is no connection to terrorism.

Following the incident, cross-border travel at Rainbow Bridge was temporarily halted until 6:30 p.m. the next day, as reported on X by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.